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Passenger Allegedly Tries to Open Plane's Door Mid-Flight and Stabs Flight Attendant With Broken Spoon Handle

Francisco Severo Torres could go to prison for life as a result of the crime. 

Every single time you board an aircraft, one of the first matters of business is a briefing on safety precautions. As part of the drill, either a video or flight attendants offer a rundown on what to do in case of an emergency – including how to open emergency exit doors in case of a crash landing. Luckily, very few people have to exercise this tactic. However, on a recent flight from Los Angeles to Boston, a man reportedly attempted to pry the door open while mid-air and then attacked a flight attendant who came to the rescue. What did he use to do all this? A spoon. 

Francisco Torres Allegedly Tried to Pry Open the Door in the Air

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33-year-old Francisco Severo Torres from Boston reportedly attempted to pry open the emergency exit door with a spoon just 45 minutes away from the final destination on Flight 2609. A flight attendant got a notification that a door was disarmed and attempted to remedy the situation when Torres stabbed her with the broken handle of a metal spoon. 

According to one passenger, Torres asked during a preflight safety briefing, "where on the safety card it showed where the door handle was located." Nobody saw him pry the door open, but the flight attendant got alerted and "found that the door locking handle had been moved out of the fully locked position."

A Flight Attendant Was Notified and Went to Check Out What Happened

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"The handle had been moved approximately ¼ of the way towards the unlocked position," the FBI wrote in an affidavit. "The emergency slide arming lever had also been moved to the 'disarmed' position."

"Flight Attendant 1" confronted Torres, and he asked if there was camera footage of the incident. She reported that he 'posed a threat to the aircraft' and advised the captain to "land the aircraft as soon as possible." However, when Torres saw her talking to "Flight Attendant 5," he attacked, the affidavit states.

He Allegedly Stabbed Another Flight Attendant with the Broken Spoon

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"Torres had a shiny object in his right hand," the FBI's affidavit states. "When Torres got close to FA5, he thrust the shiny object at FA5 with a stabbing motion. FA5 felt the object in Torres' hand hit him on his shirt collar and tie three times. Passengers tackled Torres to the ground and he was restrained with the assistance of flight crew."

"The sharp object used to attack FA5 was located and determined to be the handle portion of a metal spoon, from which the bowl portion had been broken off," the affidavit states. Multiple passengers witnessed the attack and gave statements to the FBI. 

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Torres Confessed and Said He Was "Trying to Kill the Flight Attendant First"

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Torres confessed to them as well. "Torres told investigators that he went into the bathroom on the plane and broke a spoon in half to make a weapon," the affidavit states. "When he came out of the bathroom Torres went into the galley, disarmed the door, and tried to open it unsuccessfully. Torres had gotten the idea to open the emergency exit door and jump out of the plane. Torres admitted to knowing that if he opened the door many people would die. Torres stated that soon after that attempt, he was confronted by a couple of flight attendants. Torres advised that to defend himself, he tried to stab one of the flight attendants in the neck three or four times. Torres stated that he believed the flight attendant was trying to kill him, so he was trying to kill the flight attendant first."

Torres has been charged with interference and attempted interference with flight crew members and attendants using a dangerous weapon. He faces a maximum of life in prison and a $250,000 fine and will go in front of a judge on Thursday. 

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